Brandon Weeden got the bigger numbers, but Andrew Luck got the win in Sunday’s battle of first-round picks.
Weeden threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns, but couldn’t get completions on two key passes in the second half and the Colts held on for a 17-13 win that means the Browns will have to wait a little longer before they next experience a winning streak. Wide receiver Josh Gordon couldn’t haul in a deep pass on one third down play and the Colts broke up a try to Josh Cooper on another, with the second incompletion essentially ending the game.
Luck had a quiet day after the first two Colts drives, just 9-of-18 for 84 yards over the rest of the game, and he turned the ball over once, but those first two drives made a huge difference. Luck and the Colts picked up 156 yards and ate huge chunks of clock as they jumped out to a 14-6 lead. Then, after the Browns closed to 14-13 on a Weeden-to-Gordon score, Luck led a 17-play drive that ate up more than eight minutes before a field goal extended their lead. Vick Ballard and Delone Carter combined to run for 125 yards, which helped the team eat up time and keep the Browns at bay.
The Browns may have been able to do more of that if they had an effective Trent Richardson, but their rookie talkback had just eight yards on eight carries and didn’t play in the second half. Richardson hurt his ribs last week and may have aggravated the injury on Sunday. That put the game in Weeden’s hands and he wasn’t able to lead his team to the win.
Luck did and the Colts are now 3-3 with a run of winnable games on the slate. If they can put forth more efforts like Sunday’s they could be in the hunt for a playoff spot when we make the turn for home.